Barcelona, the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, is known for its art and architecture. The fantastical Sagrada Família church and other modernist landmarks designed by Antoni Gaudí dot the city. Museu Picasso and Fundació Joan Miró feature modern art by their namesakes. City history museum MUHBA, includes several Roman archaeological sites.

Barcelona (/ˌbɑːrsəˈloʊnə/ BAR-sə-LOH-nə, Catalan: [bəɾsəˈlonə], Spanish: [baɾθeˈlona]) is a city on the coast of northeastern Spain. It is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within city limits, its urban area extends to numerous neighbouring municipalities within the Province of Barcelona and is home to around 4.8 million people, making it the fifth most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, the Ruhr area, Madrid, and Milan. It is one of the largest metropolises on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, and bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of which is 512 metres (1,680 feet) high.

Founded as a Roman city, in the Middle Ages Barcelona became the capital of the County of Barcelona. After joining with the Kingdom of Aragon to form the confederation of the Crown of Aragon, Barcelona, which continued to be the capital of the Principality of Catalonia, became the most important city in the Crown of Aragon and the main economic and administrative centre of the Crown, only to be overtaken by Valencia, wrested from Arab domination by the Catalans, shortly before the dynastic union between the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon in 1492.

 

1.Basílica de la Sagrada Família

Basílica de la Sagrada Família

The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, shortened as the Sagrada Família, is an unfinished church in the Eixample district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It is the largest unfinished Catholic church in the world.

Describing the Sagrada Família, art critic Rainer Zerbst said “it is probably impossible to find a church building anything like it in the entire history of art”,and Paul Goldberger describes it as “the most extraordinary personal interpretation of Gothic architecture since the Middle Ages”. The basilica is not the cathedral church of the Archdiocese of Barcelona, as that title belongs to the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia (Barcelona Cathedral).

The Basílica de la Sagrada Família stands in the northern part of the city, dominating its surroundings with its 18 spindly towers soaring high above all the other buildings. One of Europe’s most unconventional churches, this amazing monument is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The renowned Catalan architect of modern times, Antoni Gaudí was commissioned in 1883 to design this Basilica as a neo-Gothic church. But instead of following the plans, he created a signature example of his famous surrealistic Art Nouveau architecture. He had no firm ideas in mind, preferring to alter and add to the plans as work progressed.

Although Gaudí had originally forecast between 10 and fifteen years, the church was never completed during his lifetime. Since 1926, several other architects have continued work on the Basilica based on Gaudí’s plans. In 2010, the main nave was completed, and the Basilica was consecrated by Pope Benedict XVI (although construction is still ongoing and expected to be completed by 2026).

 

2.Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter)

Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter)

The charming Gothic Quarter, or Barri Gòtic, has narrow medieval streets filled with trendy bars, clubs and Catalan restaurants. The Museu d’Història de Barcelona shows remains of the Roman city. Artisans sell leather and jewelry near the Cathedral of Barcelona, while flower stalls and street-food vendors line busy avenue La Rambla. The Plaça del Pi, named after the adjacent Gothic church, hosts a weekend art market.

For 2,000 years, the Gothic Quarter has been the spiritual and secular center of the city. Relics of ancient Roman buildings are still found here, but the Middle Ages are best represented by the historic monuments packed into this quarter.

Mainly built between the 13th and 15th centuries, the Catedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia is the heart of the Gothic Quarter. Surrounding the cathedral is a maze of cobblestone streets and alleyways.

Tourists will enjoy wandering the narrow pedestrian lanes, and stopping to discover the neighborhood’s quaint boutiques and restaurants. By getting lost here, visitors become immersed in the magical ambience of a traffic-free medieval world.

Picturesque squares are enlivened by the sounds of people chatting and laughing or the strumming of Spanish classical guitar. Children often play a pickup game of soccer in the Gothic Quarter’s hidden corners, and local residents socialize at the sidewalk terraces of cafés that are tucked away in courtyards.

The quarter encompasses the oldest parts of the city of Barcelona, and includes the remains of the city’s Roman wall and several notable medieval landmarks. Much of the present-day fabric of the quarter, however, dates to the 19th and early 20th centuries. El Call, the medieval Jewish quarter, is located within this area, along with the former Sinagoga Major.

The Barri Gòtic retains a labyrinthine street plan, with many small streets opening out into squares. Most of the quarter is closed to regular traffic although open to service vehicles and taxis.

 

3.Casa Milà (La Pedrera)

Casa Milà (La Pedrera)

Casa Milà, popularly known as La Pedrera in reference to its unconventional rough-hewn appearance, is a Modernista building in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It was the last private residence designed by architect Antoni Gaudí and was built between 1906 and 1912.

In the Eixample district off the elegant boulevard of Passeig de Gràcia, the UNESCO-listed Casa Milà is Antoni Gaudí’s most famous secular building. Casa Milà is also affectionately known as “La Pedrera,” which translates to “The Stone Quarry” because the building resembles an open quarry.

Built between 1906 and 1912, this flamboyant avant-garde dwelling looks more like a sculpture than a functional building. Every line of the natural stone facade is curved, with rounded windows and metal balcony railings twining around in plant-like shapes. Even the roof has an undulating form, complemented by the decorative chimneys.

The entrance to the building is on the Carrer de Provença, through a remarkable wrought-iron gate that leads to an inner courtyard. The building is supported by ribbed arches that were designed for load-bearing purposes, a feature that reveals Gaudí’s genius as a structural engineer.

In dit bouwwerk bevindt zich een museum, met wisselende exposities. Verder zijn een appartement op de vierde verdieping, de zolder (met een tentoonstelling over het werk van de architect) en het golvende dakterras te bezichtigen. De luchtkanalen en schoorstenen hebben grillige vormen die kenmerkend zijn voor het gebouw.

In Casa Milà bevindt zich de eerste parkeergarage van Barcelona. De bewoners konden per koets (en later per auto) naar hun eigen verdieping rijden. Pas later werden er liften geïnstalleerd.

In 1984 werd La Pedrera, samen met andere werken van Gaudí, erkend als werelderfgoed door de UNESCO.

Sinds 1986 is La Pedrera eigendom van de bank Caixa Catalunya (de huidige Catalunya Caixa), die voor aankoop en restauratie zo´n 7 miljard pesetas neertelde.

 

4.Barcelona’s Social Hub

Barcelona's Social Hub

La Rambla (Catalan pronunciation: [lə ˈramblə]) is a street in central Barcelona. A tree-lined pedestrian street, it stretches for 1.2 km (0.75 mi) connecting the Plaça de Catalunya in its center with the Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell. La Rambla forms the boundary between the neighbourhoods of the Barri Gòtic to the east and the El Raval to the west.

La Rambla can be crowded, especially during the height of the tourist season. Its popularity with tourists has affected the character of the street, which has shifted in composition to pavement cafes and souvenir kiosks. It has also suffered from the attention of pickpockets.

The Spanish poet Federico García Lorca once said that La Rambla was “the only street in the world which I wish would never end.

The heart of Barcelona’s social life is found on La Rambla, a wide tree-shaded avenue that divides the Old Town into two parts. La Rambla stretches from the Plaça de Catalunya, where the beautiful Romanesque 12th-century Convent of Santa Anna stands, all the way down to the port.

This street features expansive pedestrian sidewalks, lined with shops, restaurants, and outdoor cafés, making it one of the most popular hangouts in the city.

During the day, many locals are found here doing their everyday shopping at the Mercat de la Boqueria. At night, groups of friends and families take their evening paseo (stroll) on La Rambla to enjoy the fresh air and lively ambience. On some days, onlookers might be treated to live music, a mime show, or other impromptu street performances.

 

5.Bogatell Beach

Bogatell Beach

Playa de Bogatell is in the 14th place out of 53 beaches in the Barcelona region 2.8 km away from its center, the city of Barcelona. It is one of the beaches of Barcelona settlement, just 2.8 km from its center. The beach is located in an urban area.

One of the best beaches of Spain is found within the city limits of Barcelona. Locals flock to Bogatell Beach to sunbathe, socialize, relax, play volleyball, or go windsurfing. Other things to do include kitesurfing and kayaking.

The 600-meter-long beach features a sandy shoreline and excellent amenities: restrooms, showers, parking, a beachfront promenade, snack bars, and ice-cream shops. There are also multiple lifeguard towers to ensure beach safety.

 

6.Catedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia

Catedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia

The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, also known as Barcelona Cathedral, is the Gothic cathedral and seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The cathedral was constructed from the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries, with the principal work done in the fourteenth century.

is de gotische kathedraal van Barcelona, gelegen aan de Plaça de la Seu. Zij is de hoofdkerk van het aartsbisdom Barcelona en is gewijd aan de heilige Eulalia van Mérida, die in 304 stierf als martelares en co-patrones van de stad is.

At the center of the Gothic Quarter on the Monte Tabor is the Catedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia (Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia). This medieval cathedral is a masterpiece of Catalan Gothic architecture with an ornately sculpted facade.

The sanctuary contains magnificent works of art, including the Altarpiece of the Transfiguration by Bernat Martorell, as well as other medieval altarpieces and a remarkable gilded, jewel-encrusted monstrance. The cathedral also has an exquisite Gothic choir and keystones that date to the 14th and 15th centuries.

Surprising many visitors, the cathedral’s cloister and garden shelter 13 live geese that symbolize the martyrdom of Saint Eulalia. The cloister’s pond provides habitat for the geese.

 

7.Parc Güell: Gaudí’s Surrealist Park

Parc Güell: Gaudí's Surrealist Park

Park Güell (Catalan: Parc Güell [ˈpaɾɡ ˈɡweʎ]; Spanish: Parque Güell) is a privatized park system composed of gardens and architectural elements located on Carmel Hill, in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Carmel Hill belongs to the mountain range of Collserola – the Parc del Carmel is located on the northern face. Park Güell is located in La Salut, a neighborhood in the Gràcia district of Barcelona. With urbanization in mind, Eusebi Güell assigned the design of the park to Antoni Gaudí, a renowned architect and the face of Catalan modernism.

Colorful, cheerful, and full of whimsy, this luxuriant 19-hectare hillside park is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Created between 1900 and 1914, the Park Güell includes 12 acres of landscaped gardens featuring Surrealist architectural elements created by Antoni Gaudí and eight acres of pristine woodlands (pine forest and olive groves).

Splendid fountains, viaducts, grottoes, a colonnaded hall, winding staircases, and semi-closed conversation seats are scattered throughout the garden space. These creative structures are decorated with vibrant mosaics made of ceramic fragments.

There are picnic areas and a spectacular terrace that offers panoramic views of the city and the sea. Gaudí himself loved this area of the city (the Gràcia district), and his home was located here.

 

 

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